Obscure Retro Game System Comes Back on the iPad

The Atari 2600. Intellivision. The NES. The Genesis. Vectrex. Most of those names mean something if you were a kid of the ’80s or the ’90s. Unless you’re a serious fan of retro gaming, you probably aren’t familiar with the last one.

The Vectrex was a video game console from the early ’80s that was based on vector graphics. Vector graphics is based on shapes instead of pixels, and it’s responsible for the distinctive look of classic arcade games like “Asteroids” or “Tempest.” The Vectrex was notable for having its own monitor. It was black-and-white, but color was simulated through the use of overlays placed on the screen. Released just as the video game market tanked in ’83 and ’84, it wasn’t a commercial success but it does have a cult following among classic game fans for offering something close to an arcade experience.

Screenshot of Vectrex emulator

Rantmedia Games is trying to recapture some of the magic on the iPad with Vectrex Regeneration. It aims to offer a true Vectrex experience, right down to the overlays. It even manages to capture the characteristic glow of vector monitors of the late ’70s and early ’80s.

“It’s the kind of app that I knew that I wanted and I knew that I would buy in an absolute heartbeat if someone else had done it,” Anton Faulconbridge of Rantmedia told Ars Technica.

For a modern video game system, check out a Captain America Xbox 360 mod. Atari also celebrated its 40th birthday with  360 modded to look like an Atari 2600.